Early San Francisco History at The Mint

A year’s hiatus from public presentations was a necessary step to focus on the compressed nerve found in my right arm. This year is focused on new treatments and strengthening the muscles, and, returning to exhibiting and public presentations.

I gave a presentation on March 04, 2017 at the San Francisco History Days about my art and films over the last 15 years, and the focus of my work since returning to the Bay Area: tracing my family history. It was a great pleasure to be able to share more about my great great great grandfather, who was born in San Francisco in 1857, and the challenges we face in going back beyond 1852, crossing that divide of statehood and a time of extreme transition for the local area. In fact, San Francisco at that time, like today, attracted people from all over the world, expanding the City’s population in a span of a few short years from roughly 500 to over 35,000 residents.

Over the weekend, my 3-screen video installation ‘Bridge Walkers: Protecting Sacred Sites in San Francisco and Bay Area’  screened during the event that attracted over 6,000 people, and resulted in the SF Fire Department coming out to enforce capacity codes!

It was also a great opportunity to inform more about the New Almaden Mine, and how valuable the source of cinnabar, used in extracting gold, was to the nation, making it possible for the country to advance very quickly economically, no longer bound to import the ingredient from the Rothschilds, and save the long voyage overseas.

The New Almaden Mine has been a source of amazing history, and pride in the role our family played during such a crucial time in our nation’s history.

Naturally, my search is not complete. The presentation offered an opportunity to discuss the importance of the ‘Open Doors to a Healing’ Project, and collaboration with local San Francisco and Bay Area archives, universities and librarians to strengthen local genealogical and historical information and bring forward the voices, history and experiences of people to create a more inclusionary experience for local people researching family history, and to uncover together hidden specks of history that hold treasures to so many people seeking the full history of their families in San Francisco and the Bay Area.

Stay tuned for postings about upcoming screenings of the short documentary ‘Bridge Walkers,’ which is nearing the final stages in preparation for distribution and submissions.

Completing this film feels timely in light of the need for greater education about the importance of sacred and burial sites and how Native and non-Native peoples can come to positive resolutions that take into consideration the voices of tribes, and, the needs of local communities. Over the last year, the unfolding events at Standing Rock highlighted the importance of discussing how burial sites are treated, what collaborative efforts can preserve and protect sacred sites and led to greater exchange with the public and local tribes.

As production gives way to post-, gearing up for the color and sound correction, festival submission fees, any and all donations are appreciated. Donations can be made by secure transaction through PayPal.

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